Flux and turnover of fixed carbon in soil microbial biomass of limed and unlimed plots of an upland grassland ecosystem

Juan Ignacio Rangel-Castro, James Ivor Prosser, N. Ostle, C. M. Scrimgeour, Kenneth Stuart Killham, Andrew Alexander Meharg

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Abstract

The influence of liming on rhizosphere microbial biomass C and incorporation of root exudates was studied in the field by in situ pulse labelling of temperate grassland vegetation with (CO2)-C-13 for a 3-day period. In plots that had been limed (CaCO3 amended) annually for 3 years, incorporation into shoots and roots was, respectively, greater and lower than in unlimed plots. Analysis of chloroform-labile C demonstrated lower levels of C-13 incorporation into microbial biomass in limed soils compared to unlimed soils. The turnover of the recently assimilated C-13 compounds was faster in microbial biomass from limed than that from unlimed soils, suggesting that liming increases incorporation by microbial communities of root exudates. An exponential decay model of C-13 in total microbial biomass in limed soils indicated that the half-life of the tracer within this carbon pool was 4.7 days. Results are presented and discussed in relation to the absolute values of C-13 fixed and allocated within the plant-soil system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-552
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005

Keywords

  • SUBSTRATE-INDUCED RESPIRATION
  • FUMIGATION-EXTRACTION
  • LOLIUM-PERENNE
  • RHIZOSPHERE
  • PLANT
  • COMMUNITY
  • RYEGRASS
  • RNA
  • DECOMPOSITION
  • METABOLISM

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